Tech

DEA Agent Smacked With 78-Month Prison Sentence For Bitcoin Extortion

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Steve Ambrose Contributor

The hits just keep on coming from the Silk Road case.

The Department of Justice released a statement Oct. 19 announcing that Carl Force, a former agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, will be sentenced to 78 months in prison after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice, money laundering, and extortion.

The sentence stems from Force’s interference with the Silk Road investigation and eventual conviction of Ross Ulbricht, the operator of the underground online marketplace. (RELATED: FBI Arrests Creator Of Massive Online Drug Bazaar Silk Road.)

In addition to the six-and-a-half-year sentence, Force will have to pay $340,000.

From 2012 to 2013, Force was working as an undercover agent in the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force. He was responsible for establishing a communication channel with Ulbricht. (RELATED: Feds Auctioning Off Thousands of Silk Road Bitcoins.)

According to the statement, Force offered to sell Ulbricht fake drivers’ licenses and “inside” law enforcement information about the investigation. The payment for the transaction was to be completed in Bitcoins. In total, Force received more than $100,000 from Ulbricht.

Force also falsified official records, lied to federal prosecutors, and attempted to conceal his dealings with the Silk Road founder.

Reuters noted that while Force was in court for the sentencing he apologized. “I’m sorry, I lost it and I don’t understand a lot of it,” Force said.

Silk Road was an online black market website frequently used to anonymously buy and sell illegal goods and services. The Federal Bureau of Investigations shut down the site in October 2013 and charged Ulbricht with various counts of conspiracy for trafficking narcotics, computer hacking, and money laundering. He is now serving a life sentence for his connection to the website.

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